Boatbuilder/designer Clint Chase will guide the viewer through the process of making an oar with plans and precut materials in his Maine Oar Making Kit, which comes with a precut loom and blade as well as leathering kit. The oars can be made with a small variety of hand tools. Clint will also demonstrate and discuss how oars can be made from scratch, which requires a planer and bandsaw.
In the oars we’ll build in this episode, the looms are cut from Maine spruce and the blades are precut from plywood. Both flat blade and laminated-spoon blade options can be made by gluing the blades to the looms with epoxy – no fiberglass is required. Plywood blade oars make a great oar because they are more naturally balanced, meaning the outboard ends are light and also thin so their entry and exit from the water are very clean. After 8-siding and 16-siding the looms, and then rounding them with a variety of sanding techniques, the blades are shaped and attached. The oars are varnished or oiled and leathers stitched on. Balancing and tuning the oar as well as fitting the oar to the boat will also be discussed to ensure that you not only have a good oar that fits the boat, but one that fits you and your intended use.